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By Francis Allan L. Angelo

A TOTAL of 24 persons were killed and almost P130-million worth of properties was damaged in 745 fire incidents in Western Visayas since January, this year.

Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) regional office records show that Negros Occidental had the most number of fires with 372, Iloilo 286, Guimaras 29, Aklan 23, Capiz 19 and Antique 16.

The biggest single fire to hit the region was in Bacolod City last November 2 which killed 17 persons, mostly children.

Defective electrical wiring is the most common cause of fires in the region, the BFP said.

Yesterday, two fires occurred in Iloilo City. The first incident happened around 3am when a blaze razed a barber shop and beauty salon in Yulo Street in the City Proper district. A faulty electrical wire is believed to be the cause of the fire which started in the ceiling of the barber shop, initial BFP reports said. Around 9am also yesterday, a fire also blamed to a faulty electrical wiring burned a house on 7th Street, Lawaan Village, at Brgy. Balantang, Jaro district. Damage was placed at P100,000

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By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

AN elderly couple was burned to death while more than 40 houses were razed in an early morning fire caused by a lighted candle in Mandurriao, Iloilo City Monday.

 

Romeo Hisog, 78, and his wife Felomina, 75, both of Brgy. Bakhaw, Mandurriao failed to get out of their house alive as the fire gobbled their neighborhood past 4am yesterday.

 

The couple was in the ground floor of their two-storey house when the blaze erupted, said their son Jose Hisog.

 

Jose said their brother and his son who lived with their parents went to the market before the fire occurred.

 

“They tried saving them but the door was locked. The kids living on the second floor saved themselves first. When they came back it was too late,” Jose said.

 

Only the skulls and some skeleton parts of the victims were recovered by firefighters around 7am.

 

Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) firetrucks from Mandurriao, Jaro and neighboring districts and towns fought the blaze for an hour.

 

BFP arson investigators said the fire started from a lighted candle used in one of the houses. A brownout occurred in the area Sunday evening.

 

As of 3pm Monday, a total of 41 houses were confirmed burned rendering more than 100 families homeless.

 

The totally burned houses were owned by Romeo Hisog, Rutchel Parcon, Nora Flor, Teresita Prevendido, Nora Garcia, Delia Gopeteo, Rodel Gopeteo, Marjorie Maaya, Ricky Pondevida, Ermalyn Hisog, Sylvia Gopeteo, Eleanor Hisog, Melita Gimenea, Boni Gregory, Mildred Ajeto, Merly Degala, Celine Molina, Rusell Pondevida, Rossana Cabaylo, Helen Guzman, Evelyn Horario, Eden Lopez, Fatima Salmorin, Julie Apsay, Sonia Gemenigillo, Bryan Aristosa, Pablito Aristosa, Ian Intrigoma, Wilfin Gemenillo, Melchor Khora, Melba Pedregosa, Rosalie Gallano, Jeanette Salvador, Margie Pondevida, Efren Guzman, Erly Gunay and Arlene Solinap.

 

The houses of Minito Gopeteo, Flora Gemenillo, Abelardo Prevendido Jr. and Beatriz Mijares were partially damaged.

 

The victims are temporarily staying at the Bakhaw covered gym even as the City Social Welfare and Development Office and the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Panay sent food and clothing to the affected families.

 

The fire victims were also affected by typhoon Frank last year as they lived near the creek between Brgys. Bakhaw and Desamparados in Jaro.

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